Cony’s Kam Douin (13) makes a catch in front of Falmouth defender Ali Carter (19) during the first half of an Oct. 21 football game n Augusta. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

AUGUSTA — As the weeks go by, things aren’t as they were when football teams first laced up the shoes and put on the helmets and pads.

The days of hot early season games and two-a-day practices under a blazing sun are gone. Instead, the air is crisper with darkness setting in as the 38 Maine high school football teams still competing leave their respective practice fields.

“That’s the thing about football season: You start when it’s too hot, and you end when it’s too cold,” said Cony head coach B.L. Lippert. “When the games get important, you have to bring out the long johns and the gloves. It’s a dramatically different feel to it.”

The weeks ahead most certainly will bring some harsher settings as the playoffs rage on across the state. Yet the next three weeks also bring some of the best matchups of the year, and it all begins with a Week 10 slate that includes rematches of five high-profile games.

One of the most appetizing showdowns this week comes in Class B North, when No. 1 Cony (7-2) hosts fourth-ranked Falmouth (6-3) on Friday night at Fuller Field. It’s a rematch of a Week 8 matchup on Oct. 21, when the Rams earned a thrilling 35-28 overtime victory.

It’s a test that will require the Rams to stop a Falmouth rushing attack that might be one of Maine’s best. Running behind a big, burly offensive line, the Navigators’ Indi Backman and Finn-Caxton Smith combined for more than 250 yards in the previous meeting, which Cony trailed by eight late in the fourth quarter.


“Last time, they ran the ball A-gap much more than we expected, so we really have to be able to account for that,” Lippert said. “With Backman, we had seen him make a few good runs on film, but we didn’t really know how physical he was until we played him. He’s a really tough player, especially for a sophomore.”

Elsewhere in the Pine Tree Conference, sixth-ranked Lawrence (4-5) earned a Class B North semifinal berth with a 35-20 upset win over No. 3 Windham (5-4). The Bulldogs will now get a shot at No. 2 Skowhegan, which defeated them 41-21 back in the season opener at Keyes Field.

Lawrence has now reached the Class B North semifinals five consecutive years, winning the last four. Playing as the No. 6 seed after a losing regular season might be a different feeling for Lawrence, but being in big games this time of year is nothing new.

Skowhegan quarterback Adam Savage (10) stretches across the goal line for a touchdown as he is tackled by Lawrence’s Parker Higgins (32) during a Sept. 2 game in Fairfield. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“If you look at some of the past Lawrence teams, we’ve been to a lot of (regional championship) games,” said senior running back Parker Higgins. “We like to play deep into November, and we’re going to try to do that again this year. They’re a really talented team, but we are, too, so I’m expecting a dogfight.”

The eight-man Large School North championship pits No. 3 Waterville (5-3) at No. 1 Mt. Desert Island (6-2) on Friday night at the footsteps of Acadia National Park. The two teams previously met in Week 3, with the Purple Panthers pulling out a 26-20 victory.

Since losing that game and falling to Yarmouth the following week, MDI has enjoyed a five-game winning streak that propelled it to the top of the division. The Trojans have been on an offensive rampage over that span, averaging 46.8 points per game.


“They’re on a roll; they’ve certainly gotten better since we’ve seen them last, and we’re going to have to make big improvements,” said Waterville head coach Isaac LeBlanc. “We know we’re going to have to be very, very disciplined against those guys because they’re well-coached and have some phenomenal athletes.”

The previous matchup between Waterville and MDI, is far from the only classic between the two over the past two seasons. Last year, the Panthers mounted a second-half comeback after trailing by 14 points to win 30-28 in overtime of the regular season matchup, then beat the Trojans 50-40 in a regional semifinal rematch.

Winslow’s Matt Quirion (33) rushes for a long touchdown run against Old Town during a Sept. 3 football game Winslow. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We’ve been on the right side of some very good games with those guys, and it’s going to take probably our best game of the entire season if we want to go down there again and beat them one more time,” LeBlanc said. “Our guys are really looking forward to that challenge because they know how badly they want to beat us.”

In Class D, No. 4 Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (5-3) is set to host No. 5 Poland (4-4) at 7 p.m. Friday. That will be a rematch of a game three weeks ago, in which the Ramblers pulled away in the fourth quarter to post a 28-3 win over the Knights at Poland Regional High School.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale coach Dave St. Hilaire, though, said his team will have to be better than it was in that Week 6 matchup if it wants to advance to the state semifinals. The Ramblers head coach was quick to point out that his team needed defensive scores to seal the last game against the Knights after failing to convert in the red zone.

“They’re pretty fast, they’re better up front than they were last year, and they scrap,” St. Hilaire said of Poland. “We had a couple of drives where we just couldn’t finish against them. We’ve got to make sure that we’re able to finish drives against them, execute and do what we did defensively against them last time.”

Other local Class D action features No. 7 Oak Hill (2-6) at No. 2 Freeport (5-3) and No. 8 Madison/Carrabec (1-7) at top-ranked Foxcroft (7-1). 

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